Online Manual for the Forest Tree Seeds of Kerala

A Kerala Forest Department Funded Project


Dr. K Sudhakara
Professor & Head of the Department
Dept. of Silviculture & Agroforestry
College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur 680 656
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Scientific Name  Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp.
Vernacular name  Seema konna (Malayalam); Pachai uram (Tamil) (Chacko et al., 2002).
Common name  Mother of cocoa, Mexican lilac (Chacko et al., 2002); Madre tree, Madura shade tree (Bose et al., 1998).
Synonyms  Gliricidia maculata var. multijuga Micheli; Lonchocarpus sepium (Jacq.) DC.; Robinia sepium Jacq. (Chacko et al., 2002).
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Faboideae
Origin  Tropical America (Sasidharan, 2004).
Distribution  Native of Mexico, Central America and North South America. In India it is grown as live fence or wind-break and also as an ornamental tree for its dense white or pink flowers (NAS, 1980; Chacko et al.,2002).
Description  Fast growing small deciduous tree, with arching branches and feathery foliage attaining a height of 10 m. It has an open crown and contorted trunk that attains 30 cm in diameter (NAS, 1980; Chacko et al., 2002). Usually a small tree; trunk short, branches straight, long, almost vertical, axillary branches (Bose et al., 1998).
Flowering season  January to February.
Fruiting season  March to April (Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowers  Flowers pea-shaped, white, pink or pale mauve, 12-15 mm long, in axillary clusters, covering the greater part of the branches; the standard with a pale yellow spot near the base; stamens diadelphous (Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Pod flat, oblong, linear and compressed. The ripe pods are yellowish brown.
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  Each pod contain ten or more seeds. The seeds are light brown and oval in shape.
Seed length  1 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width  0.90 cm (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  7,000 (Kindt et al., 1997) to 8,500 seeds/kg (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed dispersal  Wind dispersal.
Seed Collection  The pods are collected from the tree by shaking the branches using a long pole and hook. They may also be collected from the ground soon after fall (Chacko et al., 2002).
Transportation of seeds  No special care is suggested (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  The pods are sun-dried until they open and seeds are separated manually (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Orthodox (Kindt et al., 1997; CABI, 1998). Seeds can be stored for about a year (Chacko et al., 2002).
Viability period  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Soak the seeds in hot water and cool off during the night, and sow the next morning (NAS, 1980; Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination type  Epigeal.
Germination percentage  Up to 90 (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination period  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Nursery technique  Pre-treated seeds are sown in germination trays filled with vermiculite and watered regularly. When the seedlings emerge, they are pricked out into polybags of size 22.5 cm x 17.5 cm filled with potting mixture and kept under shade for about a week (Chacko et al., 2002).
Method of propagation  Propagated seeds or cuttings.
Vegetative propagation  Vegetatively, it can be easily propagated by stem and branch cuttings (Mac Dicken, 1994) without any special treatment (Chacko et al., 2002).
Pests  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Diseases  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Medicinal properties  In Mexico, the plant is used as antihistamanic, antipyretic, and diuretic.
Uses  It is valued as a source of green manure for paddy and it has been recommended for cultivation on bunds and fields. The branches are used as a fire wood. Wood is used for light works like fences, stakes as well as posts. A very useful tree for providing shade to plantation crops; planted along road-sides, in gardens and other places for the beautiful flowers (Bose et al., 1998).
Wood properties  The wood is heavy and hard (Chacko et al., 2002).
References  Get ...
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